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Darjeeling is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. It is located in the state of West Bengal, in the northeastern part of the country. The town is situated at an altitude of 2,000 meters (6,000 feet) in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains and is known for its scenic beauty and cooler climate.
How to reach Darjeeling
Here’s how you can visit Darjeeling from India:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra Airport, which is located approximately 68 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach Darjeeling. The journey takes about 3 hours.
- By Train: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) is the nearest railway station to Darjeeling, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From NJP, you can take a taxi or shared cab to reach Darjeeling. The journey takes about 3 hours.
- By Road: Darjeeling is well-connected by road to major cities in India. You can take a bus, or taxi, or hire a private car to reach Darjeeling from cities like Kolkata, Siliguri, and Bagdogra. The journey time varies depending on the distance and mode of transport.
- By Toy Train: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the Toy Train, is a popular way to reach Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri. The Toy Train takes you through scenic routes and tea gardens and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The journey takes about 7-8 hours but is a unique and unforgettable experience.
Explore our Darjeeling Itinerary
Places to visit in Darjeeling
Darjeeling, located in the Indian state of West Bengal, is a beautiful hill station famous for its scenic beauty, tea gardens, and historical landmarks. Here is a list of the top tourist attractions you must visit when in Darjeeling:
- Tiger Hill: The highest point in Darjeeling, Tiger Hill is known for its stunning sunrise views over the Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks.
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Toy Train): A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Toy Train takes you on a joyride through the lush green tea gardens, beautiful valleys and hilly terrains of Darjeeling.
- Batasia Loop: A beautiful spiral railway loop situated on the way to Ghoom, Batasia Loop offers panoramic views of the mountains and valleys.
- Himalayan Mountaineering Institute: Established in 1954, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is a museum and training center for mountaineers. It has a great collection of mountaineering equipment and artifacts.
- Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park: Spread over 67.56 acres, the zoo is home to rare and endangered animals such as the Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Himalayan Wolf, and Tibetan Wolf.
- Peace Pagoda: Also known as the Japanese Peace Pagoda, it is located in Jalapahar Hill and offers a stunning view of Darjeeling.
- Ghoom Monastery: One of the oldest Tibetan monasteries in Darjeeling, Ghoom Monastery is known for its beautiful architecture, peaceful surroundings, and the 15-foot high statue of Maitreya Buddha.
- Tea Gardens: Darjeeling is famous for its tea gardens and a visit to one of the tea estates such as Happy Valley Tea Estate or Glenburn Tea Estate is a must-do activity.
- Rock Garden: A beautiful natural garden located 10 km from Darjeeling, it is known for its waterfalls, scenic views, and numerous rock formations.
- Observatory Hill: A sacred site for both Hindus and Buddhists, Observatory Hill offers a panoramic view of Darjeeling town and the surrounding mountains.
These are some of the top tourist attractions in Darjeeling that you must visit to experience the natural beauty, history, and culture of this charming hill station.
Best time to Visit Darjeeling
The best time to visit Darjeeling is between October and November when the weather is pleasant and the town is decorated for the Diwali festival. during this time, the town is filled with tourists from all over India and the world. Darjeeling is also a popular destination for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
Darjeeling to Meghalaya Trip
There are several ways to travel from Darjeeling to Meghalaya, but the most convenient and practical option is to take a combination of road and rail transportation.
Here are the steps you can follow:
- Take a taxi or a shared jeep from Darjeeling to Siliguri, which is about 65 km away. It will take approximately 3 hours to reach Siliguri.
- From Siliguri, you can take a train to Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. There are several trains that operate between Siliguri and Guwahati, and the journey takes about 17-18 hours. You can check the train schedule and book your tickets online on the Indian Railways website or through a travel agency.
- Once you reach Guwahati, you can take a taxi or a bus to Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. The distance between Guwahati and Shillong is around 100 km, and the journey takes about 3 hours.
Alternatively, you can also take a direct bus or hire a taxi from Darjeeling to Shillong, but it will be a long journey of around 12-14 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.
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